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Waratahs add gun rookies to squad

Jed Holloway competing at the Junior World Cup this year.

Jed Holloway competing at the Junior World Cup this year. Photo: Getty Images

THE Waratahs have confirmed the signings of Shute Shield rookie of the year Jed Holloway and former Reds five-eighth Sam Lane in their line-up for next season.

Holloway and Lane join former Rebels hooker Luke Holmes and sevens gun Matt Lucas as the four players contracted to NSW as part of the extended playing squad.

New coach Michael Cheika has only two spots to fill after caretaker coach Alan Gaffney and assistants Scott Bowen and Greg Mumm presided over the selections of the EPS players and the three new regular squad members, second-rower Ollie Atkins, fullback Cam Crawford and winger Michael Hodge.

Sam Lane in action for the Queensland Reds.

Sam Lane in action for the Queensland Reds. Photo: Getty Images

Lucas, the brother of Reds utility Ben Lucas, is on the Gold Coast this week with the Australian sevens squad for the opening leg of the sevens world series.

The 20-year-old former Australian under-20s representative joins Brendan McKibbin and former EPS signing Grayson Hart as one of three halfbacks in the squad.

Cheika will be keen to settle on a first-choice option after the position caused the Waratahs trouble this season. ''As the youngest of our three halfbacks within the squad, Matt gives us balance in the position and succession planning for the future, as we look to constantly bring new talent through the ranks,'' he said.

At 28, Luke Holmes is the oldest of the four recruits.

At 28, Luke Holmes is the oldest of the four recruits. Photo: Getty Images

Holloway has enjoyed a rapid rise to professional rugby after a stellar season in the Shute Shield with grand finalists Southern Districts. At only 19, the Wollongong-raised second-rower, who can also play at blindside breakaway, has impressed Cheika since his arrival this week.

''Jed is a very impressive young player,'' he said. ''As a lock or back-rower, to be so highly rated at such a young age is a good sign as, typically, these positions are late bloomers. He's a country player, full of enthusiasm … he brings a rawness and freshness to the team that we hope will help rough up the competition in the forward pack.''

The Waratahs will be developing a new lineout caller after the departure of long-time squad member and former Wallaby Dean Mumm.

Sevens hero ... Matt Lucas.

Sevens hero ... Matt Lucas. Photo: Getty Images

Lane and Holmes were lured to NSW from other provinces, although both grew up in Sydney.

Holmes, a foundation member of the Force and the Rebels, is the third hooker on the Waratahs' books and, at age 28, gives Cheika an option between Wallabies starter Tatafu Polota-Nau and his understudy Damien Fitzpatrick.

Lane was drafted into the Reds on a short-term contract around Easter as Queensland lost five-eighth after five-eighth on their nightmare tour of South Africa.

The son of former Wallabies centre Tim Lane was offered a new contract with the Reds but chose to return to Sydney.

WARATAHS SQUAD

1 Adam Ashley-Cooper
2 Berrick Barnes
3 Peter Betham
4 Tom Carter
5 Cam Crawford
6 Dave Dennis
7 Kane Douglas
8 Damien Fitzpatrick
9 Bernard Foley
10 Grayson Hart
11 Michael Hodge
12 Michael Hooper
13 Rob Horne
14 Sekope Kepu
15 Tom Kingston
16 Pat McCutcheon
17 Brendan McKibbin
18 Drew Mitchell
19 Wycliff Palu
20 Greg Peterson
21 Tatafu Polota-Nau
22 Benn Robinson
23 Paddy Ryan
24 Jeremy Tilse
25 Lopeti Timani
26 Sitaleki Timani
27 Lachie Turner
28 John Ulugia
29 Ollie Atkins
30 TBC
EPS Jed Holloway, Luke Holmes, Sam Lane, Matt Lucas

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Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
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